Today on the Doc On The Run podcast, we’re talking about the best decision and worst actions for injured runners.
The best decision is the decision to take the right action. The second best decision is to take the wrong action. And the worst decision of all if you are an injured runner is make a decision to take no action at all.
More often than not, when an injured runner limps into a doctor’s office, the doctor tells the runner she has to stop running. We as runners are told to rest. These well-meaning doctors are trying to heal the one specific injury but they are doing so at the risk of ruining your ability to run permanently.
When we sit still we get weaker, stiffer and our fitness vanishes. Believe it or not, we as injured runners often do the same thing to ourselves.
I get messages all the time from injured runners who are trying to find the best decision before they will take any action.
Which is the most effective kind of collagen to help heal an injured Achilles tendon?
Which vitamin D supplement will help heal my stress fracture the fastest?
Which fracture walking boot do I need to get my stress fracture to heal as quickly as possible?
Invariably, when I talk to these runners who send me these exact questions, they’ve actually taken no action at all.
They haven’t started taking any collagen because they weren’t sure which one to get. They haven’t started taking any vitamin D or calcium because they were not sure which pill is best. And they’re limping around in a tennis shoe instead of wearing a fracture walking boot because there were just too many choices online.
Think about how this would correlate if you were a brand new, novice runner training and starting to prepare for your first marathon. Or let’s imagine you haven’t run in months. Your buddies ask you to sign up for a marathon and you’re in.
You get a training plan. Your training plan says “Run 1 mile today.”
You look in your closet and realize all your running shoes are old.
Do I need to get new running shoes?
Should I try these minimalist running shoes?
Should I order some maximalist running shoes?
Maybe I need some motion control?
Do I need a heart rate monitor?
Should I wear a hat or a visor?
It looks a little bit too cold outside and I know I shouldn’t run on cold days because my muscles weren’t work as well.
And even if you’ve been running for a while and you pull out your heart rate monitor, you might decide not to run if your battery is dead.
Keep in mind, Rodger Bannister broke the 4-minute mile without a heart rate monitor, no advanced training methods, and there were no such terms as “minimalist running shoes” or “maximalist running shoes” back when he broke that record.
Yet today we think we need heart rate monitors, lactate threshold testing and graphs on every single workout to chart our progress.
You don’t need any of those things to train for an event. You also don’t need the perfect boot, the ideal supplement or the newest gizmo to heal your running injury, right now.
What you need to do is to make a decision to start today. Take one action today. Not tomorrow, today! You need to start wearing the boot, buy some compression socks, do the legs up the wall pose, or talk to a running injury expert to decide what to do today.
If you really want to heal and get back to running as quickly as possible, you need to take action today.
One simple action you can take today is to start tracking your pain so you can tell if you are really on track and healing or not. You need to print out a copy of the pain journal and start keeping track of your symptoms on a daily basis.
You need to get your pain journal started today. Click on the link below to get it now. The pain journal is a PDF. I already made it for you, so you don’t have to create one fro scratch yourself. You just print it out, it’s free. It will help you really make some decisions so you can get back to running as quickly as possible.
Pain is the best tool to help an injured runner decide when run. You don’t have to figure out what to write down. We made a simple Pain Journal PDF for you.
If you have a question that you would like answered as a future addition of the Doc On The Run Podcast, send it to me PodcastQuestion@docontherun.com. And then make sure you join me for the next edition of the Doc On The Run Podcast!